World’s Strangest

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Welcome to Bubbleland: Life on a Strange Little Chunk of Kentucky

For most of its journey from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River takes a pretty direct path. Sure, it zigs east here and zags west there, but nothing too crazy. Around Kentucky, though, the river’s course gets a little convoluted. It turns north before heading south again in several places. These detours [...]

How the Rainbow Became Associated with Gay Rights

The first time Roy G. Biv flew in the name of LGBT rights was on June 25, 1978, in the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. Reportedly inspired by Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow,” artist Gilbert Baker hand-dyed and thirty a banner with eight stripes, each with symbolic meaning: Hot Pink: Sexuality Red: Life Orange: Healing Yellow: Sunlight Green: Nature Turquoise: [...]

Top Ten New Species

It seems that scientists are always discovering a new type of frog or insect and getting all excited that they have uncovered a “new” animal while the rest of us don’t really see a big difference. However I think you will agree some of the species on this list are truly unique. The pancake batfish [...]

Top Quizzes of 2010: Name the States With a Coastal Border (#4)

This week we’re counting down some of the top mental_floss quizzes of 2010. Enjoy! Twenty-three states border either the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean or Gulf of Mexico. Can you name them all in three minutes? Take the Quiz: Name the States With a Coastal Border

The Unappetizing Realities of Factory-Farmed Meat

I grew up on a farm. In addition to corn and soy, my family used to raise chickens and pigs and cows — a few dozen chickens, a dozen pigs, maybe, and a handful of cows — but that was years ago. The price of meat has been so low for so long, for both [...]

History of the U.S.: A Ridiculously Long and Incomplete List of Things Ben Franklin Invented

We all remember Ben Franklin as a pretty bright guy who discovered some pretty important stuff. The real question is, what didn’t this polymath genius invent? 1742: Observing the wasteful use of firewood in inefficient colonial fireplaces, he designed the Franklin Stove, which used its iron body to diffuse a much larger proportion of the heat. [...]